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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to attend the UC San Diego School of Medicine or the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences?

For financial aid budgets for the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, go to Cost of Attendance & Budget.

Budgets must be constructed using average costs for all students living in the same type of housing such as on/off-campus or living with family. Students who find that they are paying higher than the average amount for a particular component of the budget such as rent, can still live within the "standard financial aid budget" by spending less on another part of the budget.

How much debt will I accumulate by graduation?

The average indebtedness for the graduating medical school class of 2021 (including pre-matriculation debt) was $147,070. The average indebtedness for the graduating pharmacy school class of 2021 (including pre-matriculation debt) was $136,084. All students are encouraged to budget realistically and borrow responsibly in order to minimize the amount of debt they incur.

For more information on medical and pharmacy school debt, go to Debt Management.

Must I be accepted before I can apply for financial aid?

In order to access the UC San Diego Health Sciences Financial Aid Application, an applicant must have accepted the school's offer of admissions. All applicants can have their FAFSA information transmitted to the school, by listing the school's federal code number of 001317 on the FAFSA.

How do I apply for financial aid?

In order to access the UC San Diego Health Sciences Financial Aid Application, an applicant must have accepted the school's offer of admissions. In approximately mid-March of each year, the Financial Aid Office informs all currently enrolled students, that the financial aid application is available and can be accessed and submitted through their Health Sciences Financial Aid Portal account. Entering medical and pharmacy students who have accepted the school's offer of admissions will receive instructions on how to access the financial aid application from their respective Admissions Offices.

What is the deadline for applying for financial aid?

The deadline for applying for financial aid is usually in early-mid May. Entering medical and pharmacy students who are accepted less than 4 weeks before the deadline, may submit the application 4 weeks after they have accepted the school's offer of admissions.

How much and what kind of aid can I get?

Students are eligible to receive up to the full amount of the standard budget in some form of financial aid. The type of aid that will be available will depend on the student's Family Strength Index determined upon submission of their initial application and FAFSA, as well as the availability of funding at that time. Students from the neediest financial situations will receive school-based grants, scholarships and loans, while students from less needy situations will generally be eligible for outside loan support only. All students are encouraged to apply for outside scholarship aid (scholarships they find on their own), in order to reduce the amount of debt they will incur while attending school.

Are my parents required to submit their financial information?

Students who are interested in applying for the limited school-based grants, scholarships and low-interest loans must submit their parents' financial information in order to establish their eligibility for this type of aid. Married students must submit their spouse's financial information as well. For Pharmacy students who are over 30 years of age, no parent information is required.

Are there any exceptions to the requirement that all students applying for school-based grants, scholarships and loans must submit their parents' financial information?

The only exception would be where both parents are deceased or where the student can document a long-term situation of estrangement. Please note that many professional school financial aid offices have this same policy because funding is very limited, and must go to those students who do not have family resources to fall back on.

What if my parents are separated or divorced, which parent fills out the Financial Aid Application?

If your parents are divorced or separated, the parent who most recently provided you with financial support should complete the parents' sections of the UC San Diego Health Sciences Financial Aid Application and FAFSA. In order to ensure that we are getting the most complete picture of your financial support, we will also ask that your other parent complete a one-page summary of their financial situation, which will be sent to you at a later point in the review process.

I am not sure my family will demonstrate financial need. Should I complete the parents' sections of the Financial Aid Application?

We usually recommend that a student submit the parents' information at least once, in order to determine if they are eligible for school-based grants, scholarships and loans.

Am I considered an independent student for Federal aid purposes (excludes school-based aid), even if my parents claim me on their federal income tax return?

Yes, as a graduate/professional student, you are automatically considered independent for purposes of determining Title IV Federal student aid eligibility, even if your parents claim you on their Federal income tax return.

What are the California residency requirements?

Students seeking to be classified residents for tuition purposes upon admission must be able to provide evidence of having established residence in California for more than one year immediately preceding the residence determination date of the term for which such classification is sought, and must have relinquished any prior residence. *For further clarification of residence requirements, contact the Residency Deputy in the UC San Diego Main Campus Registrar's Office. Students are cautioned that this summation is not a complete explanation of the law regarding residence.


What is your school's Title IV FAFSA code?

The Title IV code for UC San Diego Health Sciences is 001317.

Do I have to submit parents' information if all I want to apply for is the Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan?

No, but you do need to complete the student sections of the FAFSA online, as well as the Federal Direct Loan Request Form, so we will know how much you want to borrow.

How do I know if my application is complete?

We will contact you for any missing information as we review your application. Otherwise, you can assume that your application is complete.

What do I do with the Student Aid Report (SAR)?

You should check your SAR to make sure that all of the information is correct, and to respond to any direction from the Federal Processor such as the requirement to submit documentation of your U.S. citizenship to the Financial Aid Office. If you need to correct any of the information, you can do this by making corrections on the SAR and returning it to the Federal Processor, or making these corrections online.

When will I hear about my awards?

Financial Aid Award Letters are usually available in early August. Entering students who are trying to decide which school they will attend may call the Financial Aid Office to determine if an estimated award may be derived from the information they have submitted.

Am I still eligible for the Federal Pell Grant?

No, this award is available only to undergraduate students.

Are scholarships I receive considered taxable income by the IRS?

The difference between the total amount of scholarship, fellowship and grant awards you receive during the tax year and your required fees, books and supplies is reportable as income on your Federal tax return. Whether or not you have to pay tax, will depend on your level of income. Students should keep documentation of the cost of their fees, books and supplies in case they are later audited by the IRS.

Will I be eligible for a Federal tax credit?

Students who have paid fees in excess of their scholarships, grants and fellowships, may be eligible to receive a tax credit for this out-of-pocket expense. In January of each year, the UC Tax Reporting Service sends a 1098-T form to all students who paid fees during the previous calendar year, listing the student's qualified educational expenses (fees), as well as all grants, scholarships, fellowships, traineeships, stipends, outside scholarships, tuition or fee waivers, exemptions, etc. This 1098-T may be used to prepare the IRS Form 8863 which must be completed in order to claim a federal tax credit.

Students with questions on their UC 1098-T Form should contact the UC Tax Reporting Service at (877) 467-3821, or visit

Students who need further information on preparing their income tax returns, should contact a personal tax advisor or call the IRS at 800-829-1040.

What other sources of aid are available?

In addition to school-based grant, scholarships and loans, students may be eligible for outside scholarships (applied for outside of the Financial Aid Office), as well as Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans, Grad PLUS Loans, and outside Alternative Bank Loans.

When is the FAFSA due?

The FAFSA itself does not have a deadline. For purposes of applying for aid through the UC San Diego Health Sciences Financial Aid Office, the FAFSA should be completed at least two weeks before the financial aid deadline.

How do I receive my financial aid?

The Federal Direct Loans as well as the school-based grants, scholarships and loans are disbursed in three or four installments corresponding to the beginning of the quarterly enrollment periods. The financial aid disbursements are credited to the student's University account and offset any charges on the account such as fees, on-campus housing, parking fees, library fines, etc. If the remaining balance is positive, the student will receive either a financial aid remainder check or, if they have signed up for direct deposit with the Student Financial Solutions (SFS) Office, a direct deposit to their own bank account. Students who have a remaining negative balance, will receive an e-bill from the SFS Office which requires them to pay the remaining balance at the Cashier's Office. Students may also apply for e-check in order to have their bill paid by an electronic funds transfer (EFT) from their bank account to their University account.

What if my financial aid is delayed?

If a student needs additional funds to live on until the financial aid funds are credited to their account, they may apply for an emergency loan at the UC San Diego Health Sciences Financial Aid Office. If the delay in receiving the funds was unavoidable on the part of the student, there will be no charge for this loan. Entering students may not receive any financial aid funds or emergency loan funds until the first day of classes.

Do I have to apply for financial aid each year?

Yes, a student must re-establish eligibility for aid on an annual basis.

How do I access the Health Sciences TritonLink?

Access the Health Sciences TritonLink.

These instructions (PDF) will help you navigate the TritonLink portal.

If I take a leave of absence, do I have to begin repayment of my student loans?

It is important that you become familiar with the length of the grace period on each of your loans so you will know what to expect if you have a change in your enrollment status. The Federal Direct Loan has a 6-month grace period during which loan payments are not due and no interest will accrue if the loan is subsidized. Note that you can no longer apply for Subsidized Direct Loans. If the entire 6-month grace period is used up during a period of non-enrollment or leave of absence, a new grace period will not be available when the student finally graduates. However, if only part of the grace period is used up before re-enrollment, then the student will regain the entirety of their grace period upon graduation.

The UC San Diego Health Sciences University Loan has a 9-month grace period and the Loan for Disadvantaged Students has a 12-month grace period. Alternative Loans have varying lengths of grace period, if any, and you should review your Alternative Loan Promissory Note to determine the terms of your specific loan.

Must I report outside scholarships that I receive to the Health Sciences Financial Aid Office?

Yes, it is necessary for all students receiving financial aid to report to the Health Sciences Financial Aid Office any outside agency gifts, scholarships, loans or other income received. Failure to report additional support is considered "fraud" by the Federal government and may have serious ramifications in terms of your financial aid eligibility.

It is also necessary to report any change in marital status immediately.

How do I find out where all my loans are currently owned and/or being serviced?

You may obtain a listing of all of your Federal student loans from the National Student Loan Data Service (NSLDS) by using your FSA ID to access the information. For institutional loans, such as the UC San Diego University Loan, you can visit the ECSI Heartland website.

What are the terms of my UC San Diego Health Sciences financial aid awards?

If you have questions about the terms of your UC San Diego Health Sciences financial aid awards, please refer to our brochures under the Publications section of Resources & Forms.